Tuesday, December 4, 2018

Eng. -age ~ Sp. -aje, Part 24: Spanish words in -aje (i)

[This entry is an excerpt from Chapter 18, "Eng. language and Sp. lenguaje: words ending in Eng. -age and Sp. -aje", of Part II of the open-source textbook Spanish-English Cognates: An Unconventional Introduction to Spanish Linguistics.]

[GO TO THE LISTING OF ALL THE PARTS OF THIS CHAPTER]


dopaje (1992) ‘doping, taking drugs’ (in sports): a loanword from Fr. dopage (1921), a noun derived from the verb doper (1903), a loanword from English to dope, developed in the late 19th century from the noun dope, an early 19th century loanword (1807) from Dutch doop ‘thick dipping sauce’, from the verb doopen ‘to dip; to mix’. Note that the original meaning of Eng. dope was ‘thick sauce’ or ‘gravy’, much like in the original borrowed word. The sense of ‘drug’ is from the same time the noun dope was derived from the verb by conversion since opium preparations used to have semi-liquid form. According to some dictionaries, to this day, one of the meanings of dope is still ‘any thick liquid or semi-fluid used as an article of food, or as a lubricant’, particularly in the US (OED). But there is no doubt that, in current informal speech, Eng. dope refers to ‘a narcotic, especially an addictive narcotic’, ‘narcotics considered as a group’, and ‘an illicit drug, especially marijuana’ (AHD).

The Spanish word dopaje is used exclusively in the context of sports, that is, the use of (athletic) performance-enhancing drugs (Sp. drogas/sustancias para mejorar el rendimiento). There are many different types of these drugs, such as anabolic drugs that build up muscle (Sp. anabolizantes), the most common one of which are steroids (Sp. esteroides), but also hormones. Other types of performance-enhancing drugs are stimulants (Sp. estimulantes) and blood boosters or blood doping agents (cf. Sp. dopaje sanguíneo).

Spanish also has a related verb dopar ‘to dope, drug’, which speakers associate with the noun dopaje. It is typically used in the reflexive form: doparse ‘to take performance-enhancing drugs’, a word typically used in the context of sports. The verb dopar can be defined as ‘to provide stimulating substances to achieve in a non-natural way a better performance in a sports competition’, as in El corredor fue retirado de la competición por doparse ‘The runner was removed from the competition for taking drugs’ (AEIVOX).[1] According to some sources, the verb dopar presumably came into Spanish directly from English and it is well-established in the modern language. French too borrowed the English verb to dope, as doper, around 1903, and it is quite possible that the verb came into Spanish through French, not directly from English.

Related to, and more recent than, dopaje is the word antidopaje (2014) ‘anti-doping’, derived from dopaje by means of the prefix anti‑. This word is often found in the collocation or control antidopaje ‘drug testing; doping test; dope test’ in the context of athletic competitions. This word is equivalent to English anti-doping and it most likely came into the language as a loan from French antidopage, which is attested in 1950 already. In both French and Spanish, an alternative noun is the crude loanword antidoping, though the French adaptation with the suffix ‑age (‑aje in Spanish) is preferred by the academies of both languages (cf. Diccionario panhispánico de dudas).

In informal English usage, the English noun dope has adopted some new, derived senses, such as ‘a stupid person; a dolt’ (1851; AHD; Sp. imbécil, tarugo, sonso/a, etc.), as in What a dope! (DOCE); and ‘factual information, especially of a private nature; inside information’  (AHD; 1901; Sp. información), as in What’s the dope on the new guy? (DOCE). In technical parlance, Eng. dope can also mean ‘a varnish formerly used to strengthen the fabric surface of aircraft’ and ‘a lubricant’ (COED).

Spanish never borrowed the noun dope, and typically the noun droga is used to mean both ‘drug’ and ‘dope’, though with only some of the senses of the word dope. French did borrow this English word from English in the mid-20th century, as dope. The word was borrowed both with a technical sense ‘additive substance to boost a petroleum product’ (GR) and with a colloquial sense of ‘drug’. By the way, scholars have not been able to ascertain the origin of the cognate words Eng. drug and Sp. droga. One theory is that it also ultimately come from Dutch, from the Middle Dutch adjective drōghe ‘dry’ (cf. Corominas, OED).


drenaje (1869) ‘drainage’: a loanword ultimately from English drainage which means something like ‘the action or process of draining something’ (COED). Eng. drainage [ˈdɹ̯.nɪʤ] is obviously related to the native English verb drain, a Germanic word that was drēahnian in Old English with pretty much the same meaning: ‘to drain, strain out, filter’. This verb is related to the adjective dry, from Old English drȳġe ‘dry’, from Proto-Germanic *drūgiz or *draugiz ‘dry, hard’, from which the ancestor of the verb drain was derived.

The verb drain means most basically ‘to cause the liquid in (something) to run out, leaving it empty or dry’ (COED). A figurative sense of this verb is ‘deprive of strength or vitality’ (COED), or ‘to make someone tired’, as in Working with children all day really drains you (DOCE). A second figurative sense is ‘cause (a resource) to be used up’ (COED), as in Huge imports were draining the country’s currency reserves (DOCE). The verb drain is often used with the adverbial particles off, away, and out. Most uses of the verb to drain are transitive, but it can also be used intransitively, with the meaning ‘to flow off or out’, as in Gasoline drained slowly from the tilted can (AHD).

Note that there is also a noun drain in English that was created in the mid-16th century from the verb drain by conversion. The noun drain is found in a number of common expressions such as the idiomatic brain drain (Sp. fuga de cerebros). The noun drainer is also derived from the verb and it means ‘a device used to drain things, in particular a rack placed on a drainboard to hold washed dishes while they drain’ (OAD) (Sp. escurridero, escurreplatos). Finally, the word drainage was created in English from this English verb and the French suffix ‑age in the mid-17th century to refer to ‘the action or process of draining something’ (COED), though it competes with the noun draining and even with the noun drain for that meaning.

French borrowed the verb drain and the noun drain from English in the mid-19th century as drainer [dʀe.ˈne] or [dʀɛ.ˈne] and drain [ˈdʀɛ̃], respectively. Both loans are used in some of the contexts in which the English sourcewords are used, though not all, making them partial friends. According to Larousse Chambers, Fr. drain translates as Eng. drain in the context of electronics, medicine, and public words. Furthermore, around the same time, French also borrowed from English the word drainage, pronounced [dʀɛ.ˈnaʒ], a word created in English with the French suffix ‑age three centuries earlier. French dictionaries give the year 1849 as the year the words drain, drainer, and drainage appeared in French. Curiously, they also make mention of the fact that these words are not felt to be English loanwords.[2]

In the decades after French borrowed these words from English, Spanish borrowed the verb drain and the derived noun drainage from French with pretty much the same meanings that the words have in French (not English). Sp. drenaje is a loanword from Fr. drainage which first appeared in the DRAE in 1869, but it is found in another dictionary as early as 1853. The verb drenar doesn’t make it into the DRAE until 1927, but it is already found in another dictionary in 1895.

The verb drenar is used in Spanish pretty much as its French source. One context is in agriculture and public works, for the draining of land with stagnant water, such as a swamp, by means of ditches or pipes. The other sense of drenaje is found in medicine, used for the draining of liquid from a wound or abscess.[3]

The noun drenaje in Spanish refers to the action of drenar, that is, of the two actions we just saw that this verb refers to. Thus, it is not exactly equivalent to the English noun drainage that it ultimately comes from. Actually, although many dictionaries simply say that drainage means ‘the act, process, or mode of draining’ (MWC), this word is not used for any type of draining. We wouldn’t use this noun for instance to refer to the draining of the dishes in a drainboard.  Other dictionaries give us a better idea of how drainage is used. Thus, CALD gives two senses for this noun, namely ‘the system of water or waste liquids flowing away from somewhere into the ground or down pipes’ and ‘the ability of soil to allow water to flow away’. Other forms of draining are referred to in English by the noun draining, not drainage. Note that these types of draining correspond to the first of the senses of the word drenaje in Spanish. As for the medical sense of Sp. drenaje, ‘the act of draining liquid from a wound or abscess’, it may be rendered in English as drainage, but also draining. Some dictionaries, though not all, mention this sense as one of the meanings of drainage, e.g. ‘Surg. the drainage of fluids, as bile, urine, etc., from the body, or of pus and other diseased products from a wound’ (RHWU). Sp. drenaje is found in phrases such as tubo de drenaje ‘drainpipe, drain tube’, orificio de drenaje ‘drain hole’, sistema de drenaje ‘drainage system’, and bomba de drenaje ‘drain pump’.

Occasionally one hears or reads the noun drene in Spanish as a synonym of drenaje, as in bandeja de drene ‘drain pan’. Note that this noun is equivalent to the English noun drainage, not the English noun drain. This word is still not found in dictionaries, however, but it is a perfectly regular derivation from the verb drenar by substitution of the verbal inflections, ‑ar in the infinitive, for a nominal one, ‑e, a type of morphological conversion, as in the derivation of corte ‘cut’ from cortar ‘to cut’ (cf. Part I, Chapter 5, §5.7.2).

All that is left now is to look at how the verb drain and the noun drain are expressed in Spanish, since drenar and drenaje only correspond to some of the senses of these words. The following are the main senses of the noun drain and their main Spanish equivalents, summarized from various English-Spanish dictionaries (OSD, AESV, Harrap’s):
  • ‘pipe for water’: sumidero, resumidero (Am), (tubería de) desagüe, desaguadero
  • ‘drain on ground with grating’: alcantarilla, sumidero
  • ‘plughole’ (US): desagüe
  • ‘medical drain’: drenaje
  • ‘cause of depletion’: agotamiento, desgaste, etc.
  • ‘outflow, loss, waste’: merma, mengua, fuga, etc.

As for the verb to drain, these are the main senses with their Spanish equivalents. They are transitive, unless indicated:
  • ‘empty (radiator, engine, tank, etc.)’: vaciar lit. ‘to empty’
  • ‘empty (wound, bladder, blood)’: drenar
  • ‘remove water (from rice, pasta, vegetables, etc.)’: escurrir
  • ‘dry out (swamp, marshes)’: drenar, avenar
  • ‘empty (pond, river, channel, reservoir, region)’: desecar, desaguar
  • ‘drink up (glass, etc.)’: apurar, vaciar
  • fig. ‘exhaust strength, energy, resources’: agotar, consumir
  • fig. ‘weaken a person’: agotar
  • intrans. ‘discharge, said of pipes, rivers, etc.’: desaguar, vaciarseirse, etc.
  • intrans. ‘dry out’, typically with off or awayescurrir(se)
  • fig. intrans. ‘depletion of strength, energy, etc.’: irse agotando

Finally, we should mention a number of common compounds and idiomatic expressions that contain either the noun drain or the verb drain:
  • drainpipe: tubo de desagüe, bajante
  • drain pan: bandeja de drenaje
  • brain drain: fuga de cerebros
  • cash drain: pérdida de dinero, etc.
  • a drain on (something): consumo innecesario de, gasto innecesario de, etc.
  • drain plug: tapón de desagüe/drenaje/vaciado
  • to go down the drain: irse al traste, irse a pique, venirse abajo, etc.
  • pour (etc.) money down the drain: tirar el dinero (a la basura)
  • pour something down the drain: verter/tirar por el sumidero/desagüe
  • storm drain: alcantarilla, imbornal




[1] In the original: ‘Suministrar sustancias excitantes o estimulantes que sirven para lograr de modo no natural un mejor rendimiento en una competición deportiva’. (Note that the word excitante in medicine translates into English as stimulant, a cognate of Sp. estimulante.

[2] The English dictionary Le Grand Robert says this regarding the noun drain: ‘Le mot n’est pas ressenti comme un anglicisme’ (‘The word is not felt like an Anglicism’).

[3] Sp. drenar: (1) Dar salida y corriente a las aguas muertas o a la excesiva humedad de los terrenos, por medio de zanjas o cañerías ‘Discharge and current to dead water or excessive soil moisture, through ditches or pipes’; (2) Med. Asegurar la salida de líquidos, generalmente anormales, de una herida, absceso o cavidad ‘Ensure the exit of generally abnormal liquids from a wound, abscess or cavity’ (DLE).

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